The Vital Role of HR in Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Company from Threats

Explore the role of human resources in cybersecurity and discover best practices to mitigate risks and improve your company's security posture.

Human resources (HR) is an integral part of any organization. They have a greater reach than IT and can work with all departments. Through employee training, HR can help improve an organization’s security posture.

It is a great opportunity for HR to establish a culture of risk awareness by introducing themselves to new employees. Although cybersecurity training is not usually included in the onboarding process for new employees, HR departments should consider it.

This will help increase overall security within the company. The HR department maintains employee retention, recruitment and hiring programs. It is often the first contact point for current and future employees.

Cybersecurity: The Role of Human Resources

Cybersecurity: The Role of Human ResourcesThis department is a valuable resource that reaches all employees through training and other employee-centred activities during an employee’s tenure.

At the moment, cybersecurity training is often produced and circulated solely by IT and security operations. An HR department could be involved in improving an organization’s security posture.

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#1. Training and retention: A focus

For long, regulatory compliance training has been administered by human resources. Data privacy and security training programs are increasingly included in mandated education instruction.

Data storage, usage, and acquisition regulations are becoming more complex. International companies must comply with all applicable regulations. Poor data protection can lead to severe fines or legal action, regardless of whether it causes a data breach.

Employees’ attitudes and actions regarding data protection affect the company’s security. HR often plays a role in monitoring compliance with company policies regarding data misuse or mishandling.

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Employees are the key to good cybersecurity. Employees often have access to human resources to enhance their job-related skills and receive specialized training for internal systems. Employees may have different knowledge and experience with the technology they use daily.

This can make an organization vulnerable to potential threats. Therefore, HR departments must ensure that employees are familiar with company systems that may pose a threat. While hiring new employees is a key responsibility of HR departments, it is equally important to focus on retaining existing employees.

The industry faces constant challenges in retaining security professionals. Human resources might collect data about what motivates employees to stay and why they leave. Managers are made aware of retention policies. Human resources may also participate in employee engagement programs.

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#2. Encourage collaboration between departments.

A balance must be struck between giving enough information that is useful and easy to manage to create a cybersecurity awareness program.

The human resources expertise of employees over the years is a valuable resource to create engaging, frequent, but not too frequent cybersecurity training programs. To train employees in cybersecurity, the CIO is an indispensable partner.

The CIO works with human resources to help them find better solutions and meet their technology needs. The CIO can also partner in employee recruitment, hiring, and retention, particularly for security and IT professionals.

The CIO can affect organizational change by partnering with IT and human resources. This includes developing a comprehensive cybersecurity awareness program for all employees. The CIO can help create a cybersecurity culture by leveraging HR’s close connections with all employees.

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#3. Everybody Has a Role in Cybersecurity

Human resources can be a valuable partner in incident response and cyber risk assessment planning. People operations software contains detailed information about employees and cybercriminals.

These assets must be protected to ensure cybersecurity across the organization. To ensure operations continue after a cyber attack, senior leaders from all departments and disciplines should be part of the cyber risk assessment and business continuity planning boards.

Human resources can offer perspectives from both the operational and individual employee perspectives. Even though it may not seem so, cybersecurity is everyone’s job.

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The CIO should collaborate closely with human resources to communicate the company’s security and data protection focus. Communication should include more than just making broad statements.

Instead, it should present engaging content that encourages employees to become cybersecurity experts in their jobs. Working with human resources, the CIO can offer valuable insight into talent retention, particularly for technical roles. This partnership will ensure that cybersecurity is maintained in an organization.

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